Some people desire life without stress, but it does not exist. Some of the highest paying jobs come with the greatest stress. A certain amount of stress is challenging and normal.
On the other hand, too much stress can lead to burnout. When life demands exceed available time, rest, help, and hope, people can melt down, burnout, and quit. But stress does not inevitably lead to burnout.
Tension is about stretching–ideally without straining. Tension involves a healthy and acceptable amount of stress. Without stress, a tension rod will not hold up a curtain. There must be stress against the hard wall for it work properly.
In the same way, there are some healthy tensions in Sunday School. I can quickly think of a few of them, but I would like some input about others. Consider the following Sunday School tensions:
- Members—–New People. Without members and new people, a class cannot grow. Without members, new people won’t be invited, welcomed, cared for, and enrolled. Without new people, a class becomes comfortably inwardly focused.
- Disciples—–Lessons. Lessons help us develop the disciples entrusted to us. On the other hand, the old saying is true: “We don’t teach the Bible. We teach people the Bible.” Our focus must be on helping disciples grow to be like Jesus–not just on delivering content.
- Event—–Strategy. We want the Sunday morning event to be excellent, filled with relationships and learning. At the same time, Sunday School as a strategy has much potential when carried out the other 167 hours of the week.
Evaluate your class or Sunday School. On which side of these three tensions do you lean? Both sides are necessary for the “tension rod” of Sunday School to work effectively. Ask your class or Sunday School leaders to respond to this exercise. Where do you need to challenge your class or Sunday School during the next quarter? Where do you need to set goals and plan in order to be even more effective? Make disciples. Be revolutionary!